Psychosocial support for a traumatized community at the DARI Center

2008 - 2012

Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley suffers from high unemployment and limited educational opportunities. Both the valley and the town of Baalbeck were severely affected by the war of July 2006, which killed hundreds of people, destroyed property and created intense trauma and stress among the thousands who were displaced. After the war, the region felt neglected and abandoned and existing psychological problems worsened.

The project provided psychological counselling and social and recreational activities for children, families and communities affected by war in the Baalbeck region. Psychologists from the Association for the Protection of Children in War (APEG) provided counselling twice a week and organized workshops that trained school officials and teachers to deal with children’s emotional and behavioural problems.

All this took place at the DARI Center (Recreational and Counselling Centre for Families) in close collaboration with local communities.

From the beginning, the project used a holistic and integrated approach to ensure strong participation by the local community. This provided the longer-term benefit of helping people develop their skills and achieve their potential.

Today the DARI Center is a safe space where people of different ages can get together and receive emotional support: Syrian refugees, Lebanese returnees and members of the local communities in Baalbeck.

Project Highlights

Activities and beneficiaries


psycho-social activities (recreational, creative, educational, psychological) carried out through 1,278 sessions


Syrian refugees/Lebanese returnees and host communities benefited from activities


people received counselling by a psychologist twice a week


training sessions on monitoring and evaluation were carried out by IOM for DARI staff